Cover Photo: @tokyo2020/Instagram

Are you ready for Tokyo Olympics? The world's biggest sporting event kicks off tonight with an opening ceremony, which promises to look very different owing to Covid restrictions.

The year-long delayed Tokyo Olympics 2020 is finally happening tonight (July 23, 2021) with a spectator-free opening ceremony. Fans in Malaysia can watch the live broadcast tonight at 7pm. Here's where you can tune in: 

Live Television Broadcast

  1. Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM): TV1, TV2, TV Okey and RTM Sports Channels, RTM sports on Channel 111 (HD)
  2. Astro: Astro Arena Channels (802 HD & 801), Olympic Special Channels (785, 786, 787, 788, 789, 790, 791, 792, 793, 794)
  3. Unifi: UnifiSports Channels 1 to 13

Live Online Streaming

  1. RTM5: Channel Special Portal, TV OKEYRTM Sports
  2. AstroGo
  3. UnifiTV (playtv@unifi)

See also: Tokyo Summer Olympics: Inside The Athletes' Village

The opening ceremony will be held at the New National Stadium in Shinjuku designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Although it can accommodate up to 68,000 spectators, there will be no fans because Tokyo is currently under a Covid state of emergency. Only a select number of officials and dignitaries will be in the audience.

Apart from the pandemic, which delayed the Games for a whole year, the lead up to the opening ceremony has been problematic. On July 22, opening ceremony director Kentaro Kobayashi was dismissed over jokes he made in the 1990s about the Holocaust. Earlier in the week, the show's composer Keigo Oyamada quit after old articles of him admitting to bullying classmates with disabilities resurfaced. In February, Yoshiro Mori was forced to step down as head of the organising committee for his inappropriate remarks about women. 

See also: Tokyo Olympics: The 21 Gen.T Honourees Competing At The Biggest Sporting Event

Despite the scandals and coronavirus, the opening ceremony may still be the spectacle we've come to expect from the Games. Over 11,000 athletes from 206 countries will be parading through the stadium. Formal ceremonial rituals like the raising of the Olympic flag and the lighting of the Olympic flame will still proceed. But what usually makes the opening ceremony such a joy to watch is the artistic programme that showcases the host nation's cultural richness. 

Executive producer Marco Balich earlier noted that it will be a "sobering' ceremony but "with beautiful Japanese aesthetics. Very Japanese but also in sync with the sentiment of today, the reality," he said

Malaysia is represented by 30 athletes in Tokyo, including diver Pandelela Rinong, artistic gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi and badminton player Lee Zii Jia. We're crossing our fingers that one of them will bring home our first Olympic gold medal.

See also: Tokyo Olympics: Malaysia's Athletes Open Up About Competing During A Pandemic